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A MODEST LEGAL/UN PROPOSAL TO ACT!
- Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 21:50:08 -0400 (EDT)
This is not a UN war. It's a US war
UN Gen. Sec. Perez de Cuellar 1991
-he should have resigned
NATO member states should have consulted
the Security Council
UN Gen.Sec. Kofi Amann March 25,1999
- So should he resign?
A CALL TO A C T I O N
- Security Council to be called into Emergency Session by a one or
more Member States [Yugoslavia, Russia, China, India, Sweden?]
- to consider NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, wihthout even declaration of war
- and a resolution charging violation of the UN Charter etc.
- and demanding immediate cessation of NATO bombing,etc.
- and to charge before Ad Hoc Hague Court
- ALL in positions of responsibility - and especially the heads of state
or government - for violation of human rights, the comission of war
crimes and agression against Yugoslavia in violation of the Charter
and the international law of the United Nations and the relevant Geneva
Conventions as well as the of the jurisprudence elaborated at and the
precedent set by the Nuremberg Tribunal against war crimes
[for a UN definition of agression see below]
FURTHER A C T I O N
If there is any resort to veto of any of the abover by any NATO and
permanent Security Council member
- The Secretary General of the UN himself is to convene an Emergency
Session of the Security Council and of the General Assembly
- With the same agenda as above
- PLUS his objection to the deliberate obstruction of the UN mechanism
and of his own excsercise of his principal peace keeping duties by those
and perhaps other members
And if the Secretary General continues to be so impeded in the excercise
of his duties that continues
- The Secretary General of the United Nations should of his own accord
[and/or he should be advised to] resign in protest for nmot being
permitted to carry out his principal duties and functions of keeping
- The General Assembly also be called into Emergency session for the same
reasons above and resolve to move UN headquaters out of the USA
These measures would dramatize the total illegality of this war
and the seriousness of having not only violated but altogether
set aside the United Nations and its organization and mechanism for the
preservation of peace.
Moreover, as long as the UN and the Security Council are now literally
useless in this major emergency for whose managements they were created,
little or nothing would be lost in decapitating and perhaps paralyzing it
for now. On the contrary, doing so might become the necesary 'emergency'
catalyst for the long overdue United Nations and especially Security
Council reform itself.
Furthermore, people in the NATO countries themselves would be made aware
of the fact that their elected heads of government, senior ministers, and
the commanders of their military forces are equally liable to indictment
for gross violation of international law as anybody else and have
in this war already violated possibly far more international conventions
and legal statutes [including perhaps also some of their respective
national states] than their opponent/s. And those responsible would be
given something to think about themselves!
For let us recall that the Nürnberg Tribunal clearly recognized the
reality of the role of States and individuals in stating that: "Crimes
against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities
and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the
provisions of international law be enforced"
[added her for illustrative purposes only. The laws themselves are to be
The following is a paraphrase of writings international law
Professor L.C.Green. He was writing about the Iraqi invasion of
Kuwait. Here "NATO" is substituted for "Iraq".:
NATO's attack on Yugoslavia is a violation of the Kellogg-Briand Pact,
the Pact of Paris, of 1928. The signatories to the pact (including what
were to become the the NATO countries) "condemned recourse to war for
the solution of international controversies, and renounced it as an
instrument of national policy." NATO is thus guilty not merely of a
breach of treaty, but of the crime of aggression as defined by the
International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg and by the General Assembly
in its Resolution affirming the principles of International Law
recognized by the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal. NATO countries had
voted in favour of this, and the 1975 Resolution defining aggression as
a crime against international peace giving rise to international
responsibility. Aggression is defined in this Resolution as "the use of
armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or
political independence of another State, or in any other manner
inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations ... [and] the first
use of armed force by a State in contravention of the Charter shall
constitute prima facie evidence of an act of aggression."
The Nuremberg Tribunal established legal precedent to hold individuals in
positions of responsibility personally accountable for their actions in
violation of international law relating to war crimes,aggression, crimes
against humanity and others. So do the statutes of the recently
approved, but not yet ratified or existing, International Criminal Court.
Following in part these and other precedlegal precedents, the Law Lords
in the UK just voted 6 to 1 that being a head of state can not
convey immunity to indictment and prosecution for grave crimes against
humanity. The International Law Commission [ILC]drafted a code - submitted
tobut not [yet?] accepted by the United Nations - defining such crimes and
who can be held personally legally responsible for commiting them.
Yet surely there is also existing law to that effect, or there would be no
legal basis for the threats to so charge the President of Yugoslavia.
Some sections from the ILC code follow:
Crime of aggression
An individual who, as leader or organizer, actively participates in
or orders the planning, preparation, initiation or waging of aggression
committed by a State shall be responsible for a crime of aggression....
[The phases of aggression listed in article 16 are] the order to commit
aggression, and, subsequently, the planning, preparation, initiation and
waging of the resulting operations....Participation in a single phase of
aggression is enough to give rise to criminal responsibility.
[From the Draft Code of Crimes Against the Peace and
Security of Mankind, 1996 (Text adopted by the International Law
Commission at its forty-eighth session, in 1996, and submitted to the
General Assembly as a part of the Commission's report covering the work
of that session. The report (A/48/10), which also contains commentaries
on the draft articles, published in Yearbook of the
International Law Commission, 1996, vol. II(2).)
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